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Cinovec lithium project, Czechia and Germany – update

Image of stockpile of lithium ore

Photo by ©Creamer Media

29th March 2024

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Name of the Project
Cinovec lithium project.

Location
In the Krusne Hory mountains, which straddle the border between Czechia and the state of Saxony, in Germany.

Project Owner/s
The project is a joint venture (JV) between European Metals Holdings and power distribution company CEZ.

Project Description
Cinovec is the biggest hard-rock lithium deposit in Europe and the fourth-biggest nonbrine deposit in the world.

The project aims to produce about 29 386 t/y of battery-grade lithium oxide over life-of-mine (LoM).

The mine will be accessible by a twin decline system.

The planned mining method is longhole stoping with backfill using paste backfill. The project ore extraction rate is estimated at 54.5-million tonnes, allowing for a processing rate of 2.25-million tonnes over a 25-year LoM.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The project has a net present value, at an 8% discount rate, of $1.94-billion and an internal rate of return of 36.3%, with a payback of 2.5 years.

Capital Expenditure
The project is estimated at $643.8-million.

Planned Start/End Date
The project is expected to take two years to complete.

Latest Developments
European Metals has delayed the publication of a definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the project.

However, chairperson Keith Coughlan has expressed optimism that the ongoing additional work holds promise for significant project enhancements.

Originally slated for release in the first quarter, the DFS delivery has been postponed owing to continued engineering work and social and environmental engagement efforts. These efforts have unearthed potential improvements to the lithium processing component of the study.

European Metals has said it will make an announcement before the end of April, detailing some of the significant issues.

The company has indicated that the process flowsheet remains consistent with the October 2022 announcement, and pilot testing results from November 2023.

European Metals has emphasised that the extension of the study period will not impact on the overall project timeline, with permitting efforts aligning with the European Union’s (EU’s) Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA).

The CRMA has been formally adopted and will shortly enter into force. The act will legislate for shorter and simplified permitting processes for European critical raw materials extraction projects.

In addition, the CRMA will provide the framework for the designation by the European Commission and member States of projects deemed "strategic projects". Such designated projects will receive political and financial support to enable the projects to reach production in the shortest timeframes possible, contributing to the fulfilment of the green transition and affording the EU a degree of critical raw materials independence.

As Europe's biggest hard-rock lithium mining and processing project, the Cinovec project is applying for, and is expected to receive, strategic project designation under the CRMA.

The project has already been granted strategic process status under the EU's Just Transition Fund.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
Widenbar and Associates (resource estimation); Bara Consulting (mine design and scheduling); Ausenco (front-end comminution and beneficiation); and Hath Associates (lithium carbonate and hydroxide plants).

Contact Details for Project Information
European Metals Holdings, tel + 61 8 6245 2050.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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